I Am Not Afraid

I am not afraid… four words that rang loud to my ears one day as I was driving. As my apple playlist went through it’s random rotation, this song from Jesus Culture began to play. A song that I had heard before. A song that on this particular day, had a new meaning and met my ears with a deeper understanding.

My life is in deep transition and I have been faced with looking within. About 8 months ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Malcolm Jr.(MJ). My third child after two girls and it’s been a joy. As I was beginning to come off maternity leave, in the midst of searching for childcare, something began to happen inside of me. I had this deep yearning desire to stay home with MJ. With a background in education and a recent career in early childhood education, I was the most qualified. At the same time I loved my job as a preschool director. I felt so conflicted.

I began fervently praying and asking God for His guidance and He answered. It was time to step down as director and focus on taking care of family. I had peace. The next part was to decide when to step down. The decision came to me in May and my desire was to stay until the end of the school year at the end of July. That felt safe, comfortable. Well, God doesn’t always work when we are comfortable. One week into June, my autoimmune disease flared up and I was forced to stay home for two weeks and then three months.

So here I am, in the midst of my three months trying to navigate this new life and at the same time learning to rest. Some days I feel like super woman; other days I feel so defeated. Some days I know the way; other days I’m so lost. This is where the song brought deeper meaning for me. There were unconscious fears that were trying to take control over my mind.

Deciding to leave a position I loved and cherished…scary.

Learning to live and rest with an autoimmune disease…scary.

Starting this blog…scary.

Worried about the possibility of our finances not surviving this new life. Wondering will I be okay? Do I need to be doing more? What will happen if I don’t? All scary thoughts.

However, there was an even scarier thought, not operating in the fullness of God. Not living as the Word directs me. Not utilizing the full power that God has given me. When I compared all those scary thoughts to the faithfulness of God, they didn’t compare. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible clearly shows us all of God’s faithfulness. He is exactly who He says He is. From 1982 until now, God has shown himself to me. I have no reason to doubt. His love for me is great and I feel it everyday. I Am Not Afraid.

“When I walk through the waters I won’t be overcome.

When I go through the rivers I will not be drowned.

My God will make way. So I am not afraid.”

Jesus Culture, Not Afraid

Fuel Up

This past weekend my husband and I went to a wedding that was about an hour away from our home. The bride and groom had a room block at a nearby hotel and we decided to make the trip a staycation and I am so glad we did!

For those who have never heard the phrase “staycation” before it’s like a vacation but in a place that is close to home. Some people visit local attractions that they have never visited before, take a drive for sightseeing or just spend time overnight at a local hotel. If you’ve never done one before, try it!

Initially our desire was to book a 2 night stay. However, as the date approached we began to realize that two nights away from our seven month old wasn’t quite a good idea yet. I even had moments where I doubted the one night. I thought “maybe we should just go to the wedding and come back later in the night.” “Will he sleep okay not in his crib, in his surroundings?” With all those thoughts running through my head, there was another thought that was even bigger, “fuel up!”

My husband and I just celebrated two years of marriage in July. Yay! When we married, I had two daughters and now with our new addition, we have three kids…Three! It’s more than a notion but I love every minute(I could do without some of the seconds lol). So with three children, finding time with each other that doesn’t involve some type of aspect involving children can be challenging. Although challenging, it is not impossible. It takes a desire, a commitment and intentionality.

With all my doubts and worries about leaving the baby, my desire to spend time with my husband was greater. The commitment that was made to each other to love and cherish was important to me. We had an opportunity to have some alone husband and wife time and we had to be intentional about taking the time. During this time, we had to fuel up.

Fueling up is a phrasal verb that is associated with putting fuel in a car. Fuel is a material that is needed in order for a car to run. The fuel is mixed with air, atomized and vaporized. The engine then converts the gas into energy which causes the car to be in motion. Without the fuel, the car would not be able to run. The same is true for a marriage. Without fuel, the marriage will not work. It is very important for couples to stop and take the time to fuel up.

For Malcolm and I , we fueled up by taking an overnight trip away from the children. During this time, we were able to have some alone time. We were able to cater to one another in an uninterrupted space.

Fueling up doesn’t require only overnight trips. Fueling up can be done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. Whatever is needed for your marriage. The main point is that you stop to asses and fuel up accordingly. Here are some other ways to fuel up:

What are some ways that you fuel up? Leave a comment. I want to hear from you!

Why JoyfullyRaw?

Joyfully Raw first began as a hashtag that I used back in 2017 when i consecrated my body and went raw vegan for the first time. One of my neighbors went raw and watching her journey was so encouraging. I desired to loose weight but most importantly I wanted to be healthy. I thought to myself “what would happen if I just gave my body what it needed rather than what I wanted.” It was very difficult, especially when I wasn’t at home but I absolutely loved my time as raw vegan. I was able to live that way for about 3 months but had to stop due to an illness. During that time, I learned so much about foods and although my meaning of joyfully Raw has evolved, they both share some fundamental principles.

To begin, Let’s look at some definitions.

Raw is defined as 1) being in or nearly in the natural state; not processed or purified. 2) unprepared or imperfectly prepared for use. 3) Lacking covering (naked). 4) Not protected; susceptible to hurt- raw emotions.

Joyfully is an adverb which describes a verb and derives from the root word joy. Joyful is defined as experiencing, causing or showing joy. Joy is defined as the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; a feeling of great pleasure/happiness.

We cook foods and alter it’s state because in its raw form

During my time as raw vegan, I learned about so many foods that I hadn’t experienced before. The hardest part about being raw was eating raw. Ha! All my life, all i have known about eating foods is that you cook the food in some way. Whether that be boil, fry, bake, sautéed, steam, etc. Celery and carrots are the only food that I could say that raw was encouraged. However, I did not enjoy eating those. So now here I am on this raw journey and I could not alter the foods. At first it was challenging but after a few days, I was beginning to get the hang of it. How? I had to adjust and accept the foods for what they were, not how I wanted them to be. What I found was that, in its natural its state, the vegetables were just as delicious the way they were created as they were when I altered them and honestly were sometimes better. Although i’m not fully raw anymore, I still have some of my raw meals every week.

Fast forward to early this year, I began thinking about my time as raw and I thought about myself. The last couple of years have been very transformative and I have gotten to a place where I am living raw and loving it and have made a declaration to love raw and live it joyfully. I lived life trying to process, cover up, alter in any way I could. I believed that in my natural state I wasn’t good enough. In my natural state, there were too many flaws. However, i’ve Learned that in my natural state is how God created me. In this natural state, I am imperfectly prepared for God to use me.

Joyfully Raw means I will embrace the flaws, the imperfections. I will no longer cover up. I will show up authentically me. I am okay with being who I am. In this raw state, you will get all of me. I will no longer be afraid of who God created me to be. I will no longer hold back what I am feeling or thinking. My voice counts and it matters. Being raw isn’t always pretty. It doesn’t always feel good. I won’t always have it together. The edges may be rugged but it’s ok. Even with this blog, I may not have all my words perfect or the grammar may be misplaced, but so what! I will no longer allow that to stop me. It may not be perfect. I may not receive awards for being the perfect writer, but guess what? I am writing, I am doing it, it will be my words and it will be my life. Jagged, imperfect. Not perfect but it will be perfectly me.

Will you take the journey with me? Will you step out in faith and learn what Raw looks like for your life? I promise you will learn to love it. Let’s live JoyfullyRaw together.

Welcome!

Welcome to JoyfullyRawLife! I am so grateful you are here. I am so grateful I am here. 🙂 This has been a desire of mine for years and to finally see it come to fruition is truly exciting. It is so important to let go of fear and take a step of faith. I did it and I hope this page inspires you as well.

Now for a little introduction…

My name is Jonetta Darrell. I am a wife, mother, Minister, and educator. I live in Los Angeles, CA. Married for a little over 2 years to my amazing husband, Malcolm Darrell. We have 3 children; Eryn-11, Joslyn-7, MJ (Malcolm Jr.)-7 months. Yes, our home is busy but I wouldn’t change it.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. Graduated from Dorsey High School and went to UC Santa Barbara for college. I graduated, came back to LA and began teaching high school. After a few years, I realized high schoolers were a little too much for me, I began teaching 4th grade and loved it. I the went to University of Phoenix in Gardena,CA and received for Masters Of Education dagree with an emphasis in Elementary Education.

After teaching elementary for a few years, I was let go due to LA district making cutbacks. Then out of the blue, a friend of mine informs me of a preschool teaching position at her company. At this point, the youngest I had ever worked with was 5 years old and I couldn’t imagine 18 months but I decided to go in for the interview. I got the job, became a teacher for the preschool classroom, 3-5 year olds, and I completely fell in love with that age. Fast forward 9 years later and I am still connected to the school. For two years, I was the lead teacher. For one year I wa lead teacher/assistant director. Finally for almost six years, I served as director. I absolutely love my school but after delivering MJ with complications and dealing with an autoimmune disease (I’ll talk more about that in a later post) I decided this past June to step down as director and work as an administrator in a part time capacity.

Alongside my role as an educator, I am a Minister at Kimgdom House of Worship. I help lead the ministry as well as preach the word of God during mid-week Bible Study and service on Saturdays.1

So now what? Well I am currently at home with MJ, focusing on my home and family. It has been wonderful and I have been so grateful for this time. My ultimate focus has been connecting with God and allowing him to lead. One of those leadings has led me here to JoyfullyRawLife.

JoyfullyRawLife has been in my heart to do for awhile. I desire a place to share my heart with others. A place where my words, my story can encourage others to live the life that God created. My desire is to help people heal and live a surrendered life of freedom. My goal is to live in joy, with joy at all times and I want the same for you.

What’s stopped me? Fear. Fear can entangle you and cause you to freeze and that’s what it was doing to me. However, fear and faith cannot coexist and I made the conscious decision to choose faith. So I invite you to go on this Faith ride with me. We will laugh together, we may even cry. But most of all, my prayer as I invest in sharing my life with you, you will be impacted and influenced to live a life of complete surrender in love and most of all JOY!

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